The Shiva Purana (English translation)

by J. L. Shastri | 1970 | 616,585 words

This page relates “narrative of creation” as found in the Shiva-purana, which, in Hinduism, represents one of the eighteen Mahapuranas. This work eulogizes Lord Shiva as the supreme deity, besides topics such as cosmology and philosophy. It is written in Sanskrit and claims to be a redaction of an original text consisting of 100,000 metrical verses.

Chapter 17 - The Narrative of Creation

Vāyu said:—

1-2. Securing the great and eternal Śakti from the lord and desiring to initiate the process of procreation by copulation, Brahmā became a wondrous man in one half and a woman in one half. From the woman-half was born Śatarūpā.[1]

3. The man-half created Virāja, called Svāyambhuva Manu, the first creation.

4. Performing a difficult penance the gentle Śatarūpā got the Manu of bright fame as her husband.

3. Śatarūpā bore him two sons, Priyavrata and Uttānapāda.

6. She bore two daughters of great fortune from whom emanates all creation. They were Ākūti and Prasūti.

7. Lord Manu gave Prasūti to Dakṣa. Brahmā gave Ākūti to Ruci.

8. The mental son Ruci begot of Ākūti a son Yajña and a daughter Dakṣiṇā. The two make the universe whirl.

9. Lord Dakṣa begot of Prasūti, the daughter of Svāyambhuva, twenty-four daughters called the mothers of the world.

10-16. Lord Dharma took thirteen of his daughters as his wives. They were Śraddhā, Lakṣmī, Dhṛti, Puṣṭi, Tuṣṭi, Medhā, Kriyā, Buddhi, Lajjā, Vapu, Śānti, Siddhi and Kīrti the thirteenth. The other eleven were Khyāti, Satī, Asambhūti, Smṛti, Prīti, Kṣamā, Sannati, Anasūyā, Ūrjā, Svāhā and Svadhā. O sages, the sages Bhṛgu, Śarva, Marīci, Aṅgiras, Pulaha, Kratu, Pulastya, Atri, Vasiṣṭha, Pāvaka and the Pitṛs married them. Thirteen sons beginning with Kama and ending with Yaśas were begotten by Dharma of Śraddhā and others happy and conducive to happiness. Nikṛti and others were begotten of Hiṃsā by Adharma. They bore the traits of Adharma and were conducive to unhappiness. They had no wives or sons. They practised no virtue.

17-21. The Tāmasa creation was controlled by Dharma. Dakṣa’s daughter Satī, wife of Rudra cast off her body as daughter of Dakṣa in the context of the insult offered to her husband. She rebuked Dakṣa and Dakṣa’s wife and their kinsmen. She was born as the daughter of Menā and Himavat. On seeing Satī how Rudra created many Rudras with lustres similar to his, has already been narrated. Bhṛgu begot of Khyāti the daughter Lakṣmī who became the wife of Viṣṇu. He begot two sons Dhātṛ and Vidhātṛ who became the founders of Manvantara. Their progeny is numerous, in hundreds and thousands.

22. The descendants of Bhṛgu lived in the Svāyambhuva Manvantara. Sambhūti, son of Marīci, gave birth to a son Paurṇamāsa.

23. He had four daughters and descendants large in number. In that family was born Kaśyapa who had many sons.

24-25. Smṛti, wife of Aṅgiras, bore two sons Āgnīdhra and Śarabha and four daughters. Their progeny continued in thousands. Dantogni was born as the son of Prīti the wife of Pulastya. He was Agastya in the previous birth in the Svāyambhuva Manvantara.

26-27. His descendants famous as Paulastyas were many. Kṣamā bore sons to Pulaha the Prajāpati. The three known as Kardama, Āsuri and Sahiṣṇu had the splendour of the sacrificial fires. Their race is well established.

28. Sannati, wife of Kratu, bore him sons who were equal to Kratu. They did not marry and hence were issueless.

29. They were sixty thousand in number and known as Vālakhilyas. They surround the sun and go ahead of his charioteer.

30. Atri’s wife Anasūya bore five sons the Ātreyas and a daughter Śruti, the mother of Śaṅkhapada.

31. The glorified five Ātreyas are Satyanetra, Havya, Āpomūrti, Śanaiścara and Soma.

32. The sons and grandsons of the noble Ātreyas are in hundreds and thousands. They lived in the Svāyambhuva Manvantara.

33-34. Seven sons were born to Vasiṣṭha in Ūrjā and a daughter Puṇḍarīkā. They were Rajas, Gātra, Ūrdhvabāhu, Savana, Anaya, Sutapas and Śukra.

35. Their descendants with the names of Vasiṣṭha were in hundreds and hundred millions all in Svāyambhuva Manvantara.

36. This is the creation of the sages. It is impossible to mention this in detail.

37. Svāhā, wife of the fire-god the mental son of Brahma in the form of Rudra, bore three sons of unmeasured splendour.

38. They are Pāvaka, Pavamāna and Śuci. Pavamāna is the fire kindled by attrition. Pāvaka is the fire produced by lightning.

39-40. The solar fire is called Śuci. Their sons in order are:—Havyavāha, Kavyavāha and Saharakṣas. They are the deities, manes and gods. Their sons and grandsons are forty-nine.

41. They are propitiated in the three rites Kāmya, Naimittika and Nitya. They shall be known as saintly observing holy rites.

42-43. These are in the form of Rudra and devoted to him. Whatever is offered in fire by whomsoever it may be is the offering to Rudra. This is the decision in regard to the fires stated in order.

44-47. O Brahmins, I shall describe the manes now but not in detail. The manes preside over the seasons. Hence the Vedas declare “The seasons are the Pitṛs”. The mobile and immobile beings are created in the seasons. Hence it is mentioned in the Śruti, “The things produced in the seasons are the Pitṛs.”[2] Noble persons derive prosperity from the Pitṛs who preside over the seasons. They stand in contact with the clouds. The Pitṛs are of two types: Agniṣvāttas and Barhiṣads.

48-49. Householders are also of two types: Non-sacrificers, and Sacrificers. Svadhā bore the Pitṛs two daughters: Menā and Dharaṇī who uphold the universe. Menā was the daughter of Agniṣvāttas and Dharaṇī the daughter of Barhiṣads.

50. Menā, wife of Himavat, gave birth to Maināka, Krauñca, Gaṅgā and Gaurī sanctified by the embrace of Śiva’s body.

51. Dharaṇī, wife of Meru, gave birth to Mandara abounding in divine herbs and beautiful peaks of variegated forms.

52. Mandara the glorious son of Meru became the abode of Śiva due to the strength of penance.

53. Dharaṇī gave birth to three famous daughters Velā, Niyati and Āyati.

54. Āyati and Niyati became the wives of the sons of Bhṛgu. I have mentioned to you about their race in Svāyambhuva Manvantara.

55. Velā bore Sāgara the holy daughter Savarṇā who became the wife of Prācīnabarhiṣ.

56. Sāmudrī bore Prācīnabarhiṣ ten sons who were called Prācetasas. They were the masters of the science of archery.

57. Dakṣa in Svāyambhuva Manvantara became the son of the Prācetasas in the Cākṣuṣa Manvantara due to the curse of Siva.

58-59. Thus the divine families, attended upon by the devas, of the noble-souled sons of Brahmā, Dharma and others, have been described by me, O Brahmins. They observed holy rites. They had progenies and were embellished by great prosperity.

60. This creation born of the Prajāpatis cannot be enumerated even in hundreds of crores of years.

61. Holy royal families function in two different lines viz. the solar and the lunar.

62. Ikṣvāku, Ambarīṣa, Yayāti, Nahuṣa and others belong to those families well known and reputed.

63. There are several other saintly kings of different exploits. Of what avail is their detailed enuneration?

64. Moreover, in the context of the story of lord Śiva, the eulogy of royal families is not approved of by good men. Thus I do not attempt to speak much.

65. Being relevant so far as it implies the greatness of lord Śiva, I have mentioned creation. Enough of those details too.

Footnotes and references:


Rudra S. I. 16. 11-12.


VS. 17. 3.